getting started

Yiannis Belias jonnyb at
Sat Mar 13 23:36:11 GMT 2010

Hello Yuval!

Yuval Levy wrote
> I am looking for a jump start: how do I set my machine up to hack on
>  Kubuntu? I've searched the web extensively, including, and while I
>  found plenty of tutorials and other interesting information, I did not
>  find a sweet and short one that refer to this very specific situation:

I've been at the same place as you are for a while, but I had not that much
time to make some real progress, read below.

> First, starting from a plain vanilla Kubuntu install, I would like to get
>  the source packages from apt, make small changes in there, and install a
>  default Kubuntu from these self-built packages rather than from downloaded
>  binary packages. I guess it is only a few lines in a terminal: sudo
>  apt-get install <TOOLS, DEPENDENCIES, SRC-PACKAGES> && cd <SRC-TREE> &&
>  cmake <SOME_OPTIONS> && make && make package && sudo dpkg -i PACKAGE

This is not too hard. I've documented my first try at this here:

> Then I would like to try to make minor changes, rebuild and install. The
>  minor change I am thinking of presently is to add a preference in Dolphin
>  for the copy behavior to mimic either cp (as it does now) or cp -a (as I
>  would like it to do on my desktop and as Gnome's Nautilus has been doing
>  for a while now). Patches/diffs at this stage would not be very helpful to
>  KDE/Kubuntu, since they are against "old" source.

I would not bother with patches against the source from the repo packages.
It is probably not going to be useful to upstream KDE. (Of course, please correct me
if I'm wrong!)

> Later, I would like to have multiple concurrent versions of KDE on Kubuntu
>  - a stable version to work with and a development version to hack on; with
>  the development version coming from SVN - with an easy way to switch
>  between them. This is when I expect to be able to start contributing
>  patches upstream.

I would advise you to start with the 4.4 branch - not trunk - for starters.
It is much easier to build, because the build dependencies are already in the
default repos for lucid, or in backports for karmic. The standard way of doing this
is by using kdesvn-build.
  You can find an attempt I made to document this procedure here(but for trunk, not 4.4):
Mind you that the above is probably not current anymore, and building 4.4 is almost
straightforward on lucid. 

> Did I miss something?
> If there is already documentation available, please point me to the
>  specific document(s) you recommend I read.
> Otherwise, can you provide me with some guidance? I'll be happy to
>  contribute back to the documentation to help jump start the next person in
>  my situation.

That is exactly my intention, too. Sadly I didn't have the time yet. Maybe we can work
together. I can send you my kdesvn-buildrc file to build the KDE 4.4 branch if you want.

> Thank you in advance!
> Yuv

Hope that helped a little bit :)


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